Firearm Homicides of US Children Precipitated by Intimate Partner Violence: 2003–2020

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Firearm Homicides of US Children Precipitated by Intimate Partner Violence: 2003–2020

Category: Behavior, Domestic Violence, Homicide, Injury, Men, Suicide, Women, Youth|Journal: Pediatrics (full text)|Author: B Nguyen, C Betz, J Blair, K Fowler, K Sheats, L Xu, R Wilson, X Yue|Year: 2023


Examine characteristics associated with firearm homicides of children aged 0–17 years precipitated by intimate partner violence (IPV).



Data were from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Violent Death Reporting System (49 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico; 2003–2020). Logistic regression was used to examine associations between various characteristics and IPV among child firearm homicides.



From 2003–2020, a total of 11 594 child homicides were captured in the National Violent Death Reporting System, of which 49.3% (n = 5716) were firearm homicides; 12.0% (n = 686) of child firearm homicides were IPV-related. Among IPV-related child firearm homicides, 86.0% (n = 590) were child corollary victims (ie, children whose death was connected to IPV between others); 14.0% (n = 96) were teens killed by a current or former dating partner. Child firearm homicides had greater odds of involving IPV when precipitated by conflict, crises, and cooccurring with the perpetrator’s suicide compared with those without these characteristics. Over half of IPV-related firearm homicides of child corollary victims included homicide of the adult intimate partner, of which 94.1% were the child victim’s mother. Child firearm homicides perpetrated by mothers’ male companions (adjusted odds ratio, 6.9; 95% confidence interval, 3.9–12.1) and children’s fathers (adjusted odds ratio, 4.5; 95% confidence interval, 3.0–6.8) had greater odds of involving IPV compared with those perpetrated by mothers.



Multiple factors were associated with greater odds of child firearm homicides being IPV-related. Strategies promoting healthy intimate partner relationships starting at a young age; assessment of danger to children in IPV situations; strengthening economic supports for families; creating safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments for children; and addressing social and structural inequities are important for preventing firearm homicides of children, including those involving IPV.

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